It’s a new year, and we are preparing for the season ahead!
Welcome to the January edition of the WeedWise newsletter, known as the Prickly Thistle! With the new year upon us, the WeedWise program is scrambling in preparation for the season ahead. Even though much of our field activities have slowed, we are still busy filling our calendars with targets, timelines, and deadlines. It may seem strange, but WeedWise staff are already coordinating activities for spring and summer even though we are just a few weeks into the new year.
Early in the year, we are also tasked with preparing many of our end-of-year reports grants and permits. Although it may be tedious at times, this reporting is necessary to ensure that we are accountable for the work carried out over the past year. In particular, staff are currently preparing reports to support the Clackamas River Invasive Species Partnership, as well as for our Oregon Department of Environmental Quality administered 2300A General Pesticide Permit.
The winter busyness we experience these days is also compounded by our desire to do more. Important activities like outreach and education weigh strongly on our minds, especially as we develop our annual work plans and budgets for the coming year. WeedWise staff have been busy planning our landowner mailings, new brochures and posters, and new web posts for the coming year. So be sure to follow us online via the WeedWise website and on the WeedWise Facebook and WeedWise Twitter accounts.
Now please enjoy the WeedWise program’s January Prickly Thistle. Happy 2018!
WeedWise Program Manager
Our January Weed of the Month: English Ivy
The WeedWise weed-of-the-month for January is English ivy. The winter months are an ideal time to consider the impact that English ivy has on our forests and natural areas. In January our deciduous trees have dropped their leaves, often to reveal their ivy-choked trunks and limbs. Likewise, many of our native shrubs have died back leaving behind a sea of ivy in infested understories. It is no wonder that ivy is listed as a class B noxious weed in Oregon.
The common name English ivy is applied and misapplied to a number of ivy species in our area. It is used to describe true English ivy (Hedera helix) as well as the Atlantic ivy (Hedera hibernica), and the less common Persian ivy (Hedera colchica). Although all of the ivies in our area may be referred to as English ivy, it is actually Atlantic ivy (Hedera hibernica) that appears to be the most common in our area.
To learn more about all of our ivy species check out our January Weed-of-the-Month post. If you are dealing with an ivy infestation on your property be sure to check out our English Ivy Best Management Practices document for tips and tricks to help you control your ivy.
Common Reed: How a Rooster Gave us Something to Crow About
It isn’t every day that a weed manager feels the need to trade in their work boots for a day spent surrounded by home decor and scented candles. Remarkably, such was the case this week for the WeedWise program.
This past week WeedWise program manager, Sam Leininger was alerted to the possibility that a national retailer may be selling decorative roosters made from an invasive weed known as European common reed (Phragmites australis). This immediately caught our attention because common reed is an Oregon class B noxious weed and is not known to occur in Clackamas County. As such the WeedWise program has deemed it a priority for prevention and eradication.
The common reed roosters were first discovered and identified as European common reed in Lancaster County, Nebraska. The information was then shared with the North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA) and then shared by numerous invasive species programs across the country.
Upon learning about the story, Sam checked the retailer’s online store and found that three of the roosters were available at one of the two stores in Clackamas County. In an effort to hopefully avoid any unintentional introductions, Sam went to the local store and found one of the roosters on the floor. He brought it to the counter and asked to speak to the store manager. To Sam’s surprise, the store manager saw the rooster and immediately knew why he was there. The store manager mentioned that she had received an email from the corporate office that had instructed store managers to remove them from the floor. The store managers said that they had removed two of the roosters, but that the third one had been moved around the store and they hadn’t had a chance to track it down yet.
Remarkably, the quick dissemination of information by weed management programs and concerned citizens helped to raise awareness and brought a quick resolution to the issue. It is great to see a positive and quick outcome to what could have been a very bad situation.
To read the entire story and to learn more about European common reed, be sure to check out the Common Reed Rooster post on the WeedWise program website.
The 9th Annual 4-County CWMA Pull Together
This month the WeedWise program participated in the 9th Annual 4-County Cooperative Weed Management Area Pull Together Conference. This annual event brought together more than 150 weed managers from across the region to discuss new and relevant topics. This year, there was a strong focus on the impacts of climate change and how to better manage invasive species under changing conditions.
Since the inception of the Pull Together, the WeedWise program has taken an active role in planning this annual event. As such, it is great to see the event thrive and continue to grow. Below are just some of the photos from the event. Many thanks to all of our presenters and organizers! For more photos and information about the 2018 Pull Together please check out the WeedWise Facebook Photo album from the event.
WeedWise Projects Update!
For one week each winter, the WeedWise program sets aside time for what has become known by staff as our “website blitz” During blitz week WeedWise staff invest all of their time in updating the WeedWise program website to include additional information related to managing weeds, and to highlight program activities. The hope is that the information provided helps to provide relevant information about weed control practices, as well as increase transparency about the work we are doing.
This year we have focused on working to incorporate details about WeedWise program projects underway in the county. Although a number of drafts are still awaiting a final review, we are able to highlight our efforts underway in conjunction with the Clackamas Upper Watershed Surveys project and our Goatsrue Eradication Project. Both of these projects have been high priorities for the WeedWise program over the last year, and we are pleased to share these updates.
We have much more projects to share, so make sure to check back in the coming weeks as we will be adding more projects to the WeedWise website.
The Salmon River Priority Weed Smackdown Continues
This month the WeedWise program also began planning for the continuation of our annual priority weed control efforts along the Salmon River. This past week WeedWise staff met with staff from the Sandy River Basin Watershed Council to map out our efforts for the coming year. This ongoing effort has focused primarily on the treatment and control of a priority invasive weed known as policeman’s helmet (Impatiens glandulifera). This fast-growing annual weed invades streamsides where out-competes our native plants only to die back in fall leaving banks bare and exposed during winter months. This can lead to increased erosion and reduced water quality.
As we enter our fifth year of operation, we are beginning to see significant decreases in the abundance of policeman’s helmet. As a result of these reductions, we are planning to slowly expand our efforts to include additional areas upstream of the Salmon-Sandy confluence. If you own or manage streamside properties in this area, we may be reaching out to you in the coming months to secure permissions for survey and treatment. So stay tuned and thanks for your participation, that we offer to landowners at no cost If you have questions about this program be sure to contact us today!
Clackamas River Invasive Species Partnership
The WeedWise program is currently working on a number of activities associated with the Clackamas River Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP). Work continues this month updating the existing CRISP Management Plan. These updates are needed to reflect changes in our partner participation, as well as to incorporate new weed observations discovered, and projects implemented in the last year. WeedWise Specialist Jeff Lesh is incorporating new data from partnering organizations and will be rerunning our prioritization model for the watershed. WeedWise Specialist, Lindsey Karr has also started spearheading preliminary updates to the plan and incorporating partner feedback and edits.
WeedWise staff are also beginning to draft the 2017 annual report for the CRISP. These reports outline the many activities undertaken by the CRISP partners over the previous year. This will be our second CRISP annual report and builds upon the efforts documented in the 2016 CRISP Annual Report. This is an exciting partnership and we are excited to share the great accomplishments realized over the last year.
Cooperative Weed Management Areas
The WeedWise program is very active with our local Cooperative Weed Management Areas (CWMA). We have two CWMAs active in Clackamas County, including the 4-County CWMA that serves that Portland-Vancouver Metro region and the Columbia Gorge CWMA that serves the Columbia River Gorge and surrounding areas. The WeedWise program currently administers both of these CWMAs. WeedWise Specialist Sarah Hamilton serves as a shared part-time coordinator for both CWMAs. As such, much of our work here at the WeedWise program influences and is influenced by our CWMAs. Below are some of the highlights of activities currently underway by our local CWMAs.
As noted earlier in the newsletter, the 4-County CWMA is celebrating another successful annual Pull Together conference. This year’s event was one of our most successful, and really demonstrated the quality of the event and the wealth of support for the 4-County CWMA. This was the 9th Pull Together event and we are already collecting feedback from attendees to help with planning the 10th Annual Pull Together in 2019. What a milestone! Make sure to seek out this event next year!
Although its already been a busy month, efforts within the CWMA continue without pause. The 4-County CWMA has been making significant upgrades to the 4-County CWMA website. There have been a number of new additions to the committee pages as well as new content such as the inclusion of new Best Management Practice documents originally developed by the Columbia Gorge CWMA. So be sure to check out these exciting new resources.
Columbia Gorge CWMA
The Columbia Gorge CWMA has been busy planning its annual Invasive Species and Exotic Pest (ISEP) workshop. in the wake of the Eagle Creek Fire, the CWMA is focusing on post-fire recovery, weed control, and prevention. The ISEP Event registration is now open and is scheduled for March 1, 2018 at the Hegewald Center in Stevenson, WA. This annual event also coincides with National Invasive Species Awareness Week. So mark your calendars and register today!
The Columbia Gorge CWMA has also started preparing for another round of Best Management Practices (BMP) development to target commonly occurring weeds in the Columbia Gorge and surrounding areas. This effort is similar to those undertaken last year, which resulted in the development of fifteen new BMPs as well as an update to the Worst Weeds of the Gorge field guide. We encourage folks to download the guide or stop by the Clackamas SWCD office for a free copy! The BMPs will be used in conjunction with an all-new Stop The Invasion: Weed management 101 Training scheduled for May 19th. So mark your calendars for another exciting opportunity!
More WeedWise Online and on Social Media
Did you know that the WeedWise program also hosts a website online that specializes in invasive weed related issues? Be sure to check out the website and read some of our recent articles over the last month.
The WeedWise program is also active on social media, so be sure to follow us online.